If you want to make a bet, place it on Brite Star Aggie, a foal born and bred at Chicago High School for the Agricultural Sciences. Brite Star Aggie qualified last week to race at Hawthorne Racecourse in Stickney. The trotter will join the other three-year-olds for the 2016 harness racing season. “We’re not sure when she’ll race,” Chicago Ag principal William Hook said. “To qualify, horses either have to race the track or run with other horses, but she qualified to race this season.” The Chicago Ag filly was born at the high school in April 2013. Brite Star is the last foal of the high school’s broodmare. She was sired by Ideal Towne. “We got a free breeding in Kewanee,” Hook said. “The same farmer loaned Vega to the school. We only keep one brood mare on campus at a time.” Brite Star was raised by students at Chicago Ag, an experimental magnet high school that teaches agricultural sciences to urban students. She was sold to Hosea Williams, who trained the three-year-old and got her qualified at Hawthorne. The school’s animal science program teaches students the principles in the raising and management of livestock and companion animals, including animal nutrition, physiology, behavior and management. Chicago Ag keeps a variety of companion animals, beef and dairy cattle, swine, sheep, horses and poultry on campus. Brite Star isn’t the first trotter to be raised at the school. Chi Towne Aggie was sold as a yearling to Dandy Farms Racing, of Glenview, and in 2013, became the first standardbred race horse to ever be born and raised at a U.S. high school. Chi Towne Aggie is now racing in Mississippi. Hook said Brite Star Aggie is the first horse raised by Chicago Ag students to qualify as a registered trotter in Illinois. Vega, Brite Star’s mother, has since been returned to Kewanee. The same farm has donated a new broodmare, Basic Browne to the school. Last August, Basic Browne foaled a filly named Emily Strong by Olivia Beazley in honor of her late sister, Emily. Hook said Emily Strong will be auctioned off this spring at yearling sale downstate. Proceeds from the sale will be donated to Emily Beazley’s Kures for Kids, which supports pediatric cancer research. Harness racing returned after a ten-year absence to Hawthorne following last year’s closing of Balmoral. The trotters will share digs with thoroughbred racing at Hawthorne Racecourse. The harness racing season opened at the 125-year-old track at 3501 W. Laramie Ave., Stickney, on Jan. 8. The season will run through September 2016. Visit the Hawthorne Racecourse website for more information on scheduled harness meets. Beverly-MtGreenwood Reprinted with permission of the patch.com site
NEW KENT, VA ---- Omaha Survivor shook off three straight runner-up finishes and returned to the winners circle for the first time since opening weekend by capturing Thursday’s $3,500 co-featured conditioned pace at Colonial Downs. An extremely competitive field of eight lined up behind the gate including six pacers who had a winning mile of 1:51 2/5 or faster at the New Kent fall meet. Jeff Nisonger, driving Omaha Survivor for the first time, positioned the 8 year old Ideal Towne gelding In The Pocket initially and stayed there until mid-stretch when he calmly came out and overtook front stepping Vertigo Hanover. Henry Lewis’ Vertigo Hanover, who was going for his sixth win of the season, led from the outset and cut panels of :27.0, :55 4/5 and 1:24 1/5. Omaha Survivor got to the finish first though by a 2 ½ length margin in 1:51 4/5. The win was driver Nisonger’s middle leg triumph of a natural driving hat trick. The 32 year old connected in the race prior with John Ingram’s Diesel Fuel and in the race after with Gerald Russell’s Ashley Force. He is currently the fifth leading reinsman with 21 wins. Quiet Charmer kicked off the afternoon with a tight win over My Heidi in the $7,800 final leg of the Juniors Trotting Series. The 4 year old Cash Hall mare had a second and third in the first two series legs but went wire-to-wire with big money on the line. Frank Milby directed Quiet Charmer to a 1:57 1/5 victory, a head better than Jane Dunavant’s My Heidi, who won the second leg by a pair of lengths over Quiet Charmer. The winner is trained by Joe C. Mapes for his wife Irene. Colonial Downs has only two days left in its annual fall campaign. Cards will be presented Saturday and Sunday at 1 PM. The $380,000 Virginia-bred “Day of Champions” highlights action Sunday with eight divisional championships up for grabs. Three of the “Champions” races will be non-betting starting at 12:20 PM and the remaining five will be part of a twelve race pari-mutuel program. by Darrell Wood for Colonial Downs
Omaha Survivor Scores a 1:50 4/5 Win in Delmarva Pacing Series Thursday at Colonial Downs (NEW KENT, VA----9/19/13) ---- Dean Eckley's Omaha Survivor wired the field in a $4,500 first leg division of the Delmarva Handicap Pacing Series in 1:50 4/5 Thursday afternoon at Colonial Downs. Driver Robert Dinning, who is competing at Colonial for the first time ever, directed the 8 year old Ideal Towne gelding to fractions of :26.0, :55.0 and 1:23 2/5 before crossing the wire in 1:50 4/5. That final time equaled his previous mark which he set at Pompano three years ago. Omaha Survivor maintained a 1 1/2 length lead throughout the race and beat runner up Diamond Star by that exact distance. Trainer Stacy McLenaghan's second place finisher got a pocket trip from the start but could not wear down the pacesetter in the stretch. Eckley's charge, who is owned by Gregory Gardner, captured his 26th career win. Amanda Jackson's Hillbilly Desire came from behind to earn a Delmarva division win Thursday as well. Frank Milby guided the 4 year old Real Desire pacing mare to a one length win over Dalhousie Dave in 1:53.0. The eventual winner was sixth entering the turn but went three wide and passed all but one by the head of the stretch. After a slow start this year, Hillbilly Desire has won three of her last five. Marion Good To Go had a nearly identical winning trip in the Parkers Memorial Trotting Series which got underway Thursday. Corey Braden directed the 4 year old Conway Hall gelding from fifth at the three quarter mark to a solid 4 ½ length triumph in 1:56 3/5 over eight other foes. Boscoe's Choice was second. Colonial Downs is dark Friday. Action resumes with ten race cards both Saturday and Sunday at 1 PM. Darrell Wood
After three days of stifling heat and humidity conditions were much different on Thursday night at Maywood Park with winds howling out of the north and temperatures in the low 50's after heavy rains early in the day. That did not slow down the harness racing action though as the 'ladies' of the sport were featured in a $10,000 Filly Maywood Pace elimination with the top seven finishers returning on Friday, June 17th to join Fox Valley Touche in the $101,000 final.
Fast-closing Alice's Restaurant needed only one call, at the finish line, to win the $26.000 Mares Open pace at 10-1 odds on a fog-shrouded harness racing Tuesday, Feb.1 at Dover Downs.
Go On BB had little trouble turning back six harness racing rivals to win the $26,000 Mares Open Handicap pace on Tuesday, Dec. 28 at Dover Downs. Ron Pierce drove four winners. With Matt Kakaley in the bike for his second win of the day, Frank Baldachino's Go On BB romped to her ninth win of the season and third in her last four starts in the feature race.
The sweep of the top two finish positions for his stable in the top event on a beautiful South Florida Saturday night (December 17) evoked some poignant memories for harness racing trainer Tom Harmer.
Go On BB made her first harness racing appearance at Dover Downs a winning one taking the $26,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap pace on a cold and windy Tuesday (December 7). After coming east from the Midwest a month a go, Matt Kakaley drove $1.1-million winning Go On BB to a 1:54.1 victory, her second win in a row and eighth of the season for trainer Ron Burke and owner Frank Baldachin.
Wish All You want made good use of the passing lane en route to her third consecutive harness racing victory taking the $27,000 Open pace on Tuesday (November 30) at Dover Downs. Eric Goodell left to get the lead driving Wish All You Want.
Elimination harness racing battles for next Saturday's (November 13) American National night were contested on Saturday at Balmoral Park for two-year-old colt pacers and two-year-old filly pacers.
The countdown to next weekends Southland Festival of Harness Racing began in earnest on Saturday night with elimination's for the Loyal Opposition Stake (2yo filly pace), the Mini Me Stake (2yo colt pace) and the Incredible Finale Stake (3yo colt pace) taking place. Each elimination tussle carried a purse of $7,000.
On a night that may have been better suited for ducks than horses a pair of Illinois conceived and foaled stake harness racing events were contested on Wednesday night at a rain soaked Balmoral Park.
Taking full advantage of miscues by several of the top contenders in Wednesday's featured $9,000 Mikes A Mystery Stake, Sue Phillips and Jerald & Donna Viviani's Showmeyourstuff trotted to his third harness racing victory of the year as he reported home with a half-length triumph in 1:57.1 at Balmoral Park.
One of the most prominent names in North American harness racing was overlooked by the public on the Saturday, May 15 program at The Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park and the result was a stunning 67-1 upset. Henri Filion Jr. executed a late stretch rally with claiming pacer Art Exposition that resulted in a 1:57.2 life's mark win.